Half of Brits think older drivers should be banned from the roads

Half of Brits think older drivers should be banned from the roads image: Wikipedia

A survey by YouGov and CarTakeBack.com has found that nearly half of the British think older drivers should be banned from the roads.

The poll reported on by the Metro, which looked into the long-running debate around older people and driving, found 49 per cent believe that older drivers should be banned from the roads entirely. While nearly three quarters believe that drivers should be forced to retake their licence once they get old.

Most believe that the compulsory retest should take place somewhere between the age of 71 and 75, with those over the age of 85 or 90 being completely banned from driving.

Unsurprisingly, those at the lower end of the age group, 18 to 24, said a re-test should come far earlier.

The most common reason given for believing a ban should be put in place, is that: “older drivers don’t have fast enough reaction times.”

What was perhaps even more surprising is that nearly one in four though that drivers should be retested after the age of 60, with one in ten suggesting from age 55.

CarTakeBack.com said the survey suggested that the British public “don’t trust older drivers on the road,” with many citing high profile crashes like that of Prince Phillip as a reason why mistrust of older drivers has grown.

According to IAM Roadsmart, the findings are contrary to the reality, which is that: “older drivers are safer than young drivers.”

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at the road safety charity, said: “In reality, new drivers are the most at risk group and older drivers are among the safest. 

“Statistics do however show that drivers over 85 do start to have more crashes as their faculties fade and their experience is no longer enough to compensate.”

Monash University in Australia found in their research “enormous evidence” that mandatory testing of older drivers did not make roads safer.

They said: “One study compared the safety implications of the Finnish and Swedish licensing practices. Finland requires annual medical checks starting annually at age 70 for licence renewal, whereas Sweden has no age related controls.

“The Finnish program did not result in fewer crashes than in Sweden – but importantly it was found that Finland had a higher older pedestrian fatality rate, presumably the result of an increase in the number of older people relying on walking as their main transport option.”

For many older people, the loss of their licence is the loss of their independence. Should they be banned unilaterally from the roads, the impact on the group’s mental health and well-being could be devastating, according to experts.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

Comments


    • Biggles

      22 May 2022 • 13:38

      Thats funny. The other half of mature, educated and experienced drivers think all children under 25 should be banned

      Reply
      • John McCash

        23 May 2022 • 15:23

        Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at the road safety charity, said: “In reality, new drivers are the most at risk group and older drivers are among the safest. This says it all.

        Reply
    • Alan Bowman

      22 May 2022 • 14:40

      I have stopped driving because I don’t think my eyesight is good enough – I will be 81 in July

      Reply
      • John McCash

        23 May 2022 • 15:20

        Thanks Alan, you have realised there is an issue and you acted, well done. I plan to do the same if I realise my driving skills show any sign of failing or my health is an issue.

        Reply
    • Mike Brister

      22 May 2022 • 18:47

      That is rubbish. Look at the statistics, most accidents involve under 25’s. It would make more sense to make 21 or even 25 the starting age. Why does everyone want to write off the elderly? It will be a different story when they get older.

      Reply
      • John McCash

        23 May 2022 • 15:22

        Mike, Exactly, but what do the younger generation care, probibly most cannot read anyway and just assume all old people are a waste of space. The report did confirm that Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at the road safety charity, said: “In reality, new drivers are the most at risk group and older drivers are among the safest.

        Reply
    • John McCash

      23 May 2022 • 15:25

      A misleading Headline, maybe 49% of those polled said that but that does not mean 49% of British people believe it. Polls are generally a waste of space and time, For many years they have failed repeatedly to offer truth.

      Reply
    • Alison

      24 May 2022 • 03:14

      Someone who’s under 25 thinking that 60 is ” old,”.
      Says it all. Tell them to sort their silencers out, and keep their subjective opinions to themselves!

      Reply

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